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One of the Department of Political Science's greatest strengths is its thriving intellectual community. We host several different colloquia focusing on a variety of topics: international relations, comparative politics, political theory, political methodology, public policy, political psychology, and gender, sexuality, power, and politics. In these workshops, graduate students and faculty from around the University can share and gain valuable feedback on works in progress. Furthermore, nationally and internationally renowned visiting scholars often present their work at these same workshops.

Comparative Politics Colloquium

The Comparative Politics Colloquium is a forum for conversations about innovative approaches to the study of comparative politics. Each semester, we select several top scholars from a range of disciplines to invite to speak. We also provide a valuable forum for graduate students from within the department to present their work. Contact us at

Political Theory Colloquium

About MPTC

General Inquiries:

Fall 2019 Co-Organizers: Garrett Johnson & Emily Mitamura

2020 Co-Organizers: Samuel Duling & Hung Le

Faculty Advisor: Robert Nichols

Every year, graduate students in the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota put together a schedule of academic sessions relevant to political theory, in the form of paper presentations, roundtable discussions, and reading groups. Presenters are graduate students, department faculty, faculty from other cognate departments at the university, other local college faculty (Carleton, Macalester, St. Olaf, etc.), and the occasional out-of-town guest. Past guests have included Charles Mills (CUNY Graduate Center), Linda Zerilli (UChicago), Ernesto Laclau (Northwestern), Amitai Etzioni (George Washington), Wendy Brown (UC Berkeley), Bonnie Honig (Brown), and Nicholas Xenos (UMass Amherst).

2020 Series: Crisis of Democracy

The Minnesota Political Theory Colloquium (MNPTC) is pleased to announce “Crises of Democracy” as the organizing concept for our 2020 series. This theme is intended to facilitate discussion on the manifold threats facing democratic institutions in the United States and across the globe, including contemporary manifestations of colonialism and imperialism, climate change, “fake news,” xenophobia, institutional racism, gun violence, and more.

To address these and other concerns, MNPTC will host a series of panel discussions, reading groups, and guest speakers. While the overarching organizing theme for 2020 will be uniform across the calendar year, the colloquium will center different threats to democracy each semester. For the spring semester, the colloquium will foreground issues related to climate change, mass migration, and authoritarian populism.

We take further inspiration from an increased inclination within the discipline of political science to undertake and celebrate problem-driven research on topical and underexplored global issues affecting diverse constituencies. The 2020 all-woman editorial board of the American Political Science Review has recently published a statement that expresses this disciplinary commitment well:

All sessions take place in the Lippincott Room (1314 Social Sciences) unless otherwise noted.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list (to receive event updates and pre-circulated texts), please write to

We aim to maintain and improve the quality and integrity of the American Political Science Association’s flagship journal while broadening its readership, relevance, and contributor pool. To do so, we intend to publish problem-driven scholarship that is well-conceptualized, ethically-designed, and well-executed; research on topics and by scholars the discipline has been slow to engage; and work that uses a range of methods and approaches to address both timely and timeless questions about power and governance that are central to the study of politics everywhere.

In accordance with this spirit, special attention will be dedicated to contemporary epistemologies and traditions of critical scholarship in political theory, such as critical race theory, feminism, environmental political theory, and post- and anti-colonial political thought. In an effort to avoid an overly parochial approach to contemporary political crises, and to encourage the participation of members of other subfields, disciplines, and communities, we intend to collaborate with other colloquia within the Department of Political Science, as well as other academic departments and research institutes across the University of Minnesota’s campuses.

Everyone is welcome! We look forward to your participation in the colloquium.

Upcoming Events

The schedule for fall 2019 will be posted soon. Our events are also posted on the Department of Political Science events list.

Minnesota International Relations Colloquium

Minnesota International Relations Colloquium (MIRC) is a series of informal seminars and presentations organized by University of Minnesota graduate students of International Relations. Since 1997, MIRC has served as an on-going forum for Minnesota students and faculty, and guests from other colleges and universities, to participate in academically informed and politically engaged conversations about theoretical and practical issues pertaining to international and global politics.

For more information, view the Minnesota International Relations Colloquium website.


The goal of the Political Methodology Colloquium is to provide a venue for the discussion of methodologically informed political science research. Each semester we invite a number of top scholars and graduate students from the University of Minnesota and the outside scholarly community to present on research topics related to either (1) political and social science methodology or (2) the application of these methods to questions of interest to political science at large.

American Politics Colloquium

The American Politics Colloquium provides a venue for presentations of new and innovative work relating to political institutions, public policies, and mass political behavior in American politics. The Colloquium hosts several top scholars in the field throughout the year to present their latest work. In addition, the colloquium serves as a forum for Minnesota graduate students to present their on-going work and engage in substantive and methodological conversations pertaining to their work and current issues in American politics.